Technology in the 21st Century leaves little to no space for surprises when it comes to imprinting lasting impressions and widespread effects on our day to day lives. The very same applies to video games which utilize and propagate motives grounded in it.

Hacking, espionage, cyberpunk universe, tech-centric plots, and many more are the mill for the grist of many contemporary titles, among which Watch Dogs clearly stands out.

The story of Aiden Pearce, a gray hat hacker who’s into avenging death of his niece, set the standard in 2013 for the then decade to come, in spite of the fact that System Shock, Deus Ex and other landmark titles had facilitated the said tropes a dozen or so years earlier. Bearing in mind the above, we present the list of games similar to Watch Dogs.

GameReleaseGenreDeveloper
Grand Theft Auto V 2015-04-14 Adventure Rockstar North
Grand Theft Auto V Premium Online Edition 2015-04-14 Adventure Rockstar Games
Sleeping Dogs Definitive Edition 2014-10-08 Adventure United Front Games
Far Cry 5 2018-03-27 Action & Shooter Ubisoft
Far Cry 6 2021-10-07 Action & Shooter Ubisoft Toronto
Mad Max 2015-09-01 Adventure Avalanche Studios
Tom Clancys Ghost Recon Wildlands 2017-03-06 Adventure Ubisoft Paris
Just Cause 3 XXL Edition 2018-10-24 Action Avalanche Studios
Just Cause 4 Complete Edition 2018-12-04 Adventure Avalanche Studios
Just Cause 2 2010-03-23 Adventure Avalanche Studios
Yakuza 0 2018-08-01 Adventure Ryū Ga Gotoku Studios
Tom Clancys The Division 2 2019-03-15 Massively Multiplayer Massive Entertainment
Red Dead Redemption 2 2019-11-05 Adventure Rockstar Games
Prototype 2 2012-07-26 Adventure Radical Entertainment
Prototype Biohazard Bundle 2015-07-14 Action Radical Entertainment
The Saboteur 2009-12-04 Adventure Pandemic Studios
Saints Row IV Re Elected 2020-03-27 Action & Shooter Volition
Saints Row The Third Remastered 2021-05-22 Action Volition
Saints Row 2 2009-01-28 Adventure Volition
Batman Arkham Knight Premium Edition 2015-06-23 Adventure Rocksteady Studios

Sleeping Dogs

Release date:2014-10-08
Genre:Adventure
Developer:United Front Games

A neon-lit Hong Kong teeming with activity, badass gangsters, Grand Theft Auto vibe, and a story of an undercover cop infiltrating the local triad – these are the premises of another game, the title of which is hounded by dogs.

Sleeping Dogs, sponged up with Jet Li/Jackie Chan-esque fight moves, engaging and enjoyable plot evoking the best of 90’s Asian action movies, and a tad of bug placing, hacking passwords and disguising, is a go-to title for everyone who digs decent amount of rad gaming experience.

Praiseworthy is also game designers’ dedication to research they’ve conducted, taking over 20000 photographs to catch the unmistakable ambiance of Hong Kong.

Key features
  • Creative melee attacks
  • Finely written plot
  • Researched a lot

Saints Row IV

Release date:2013-08-22
Genre:Adventure
Developer:High Voltage Software

Now, what do you get when you combine delicious blend of every possible action game trope and top it with a thick layer of whipped cream parody and a cherry of not-taking-oneself-too-seriously? You get Saints Row IV.

How did game developers manage to pull it off without causing any retching from the overabundance of stimuli? The answer is simple – simulation, a couple of years before the demise of MCU, at that. That’s why SR IV universe offers plenty: rampaging through the 50’s sitcom scenery, telekinetic assassinations, mech fights, etc.

Oh, and the cauldron of pop culture references is rich in contents as well as flavor, too: opening scene nodding to helicopter deployment from the 1987 Predator movie, alien leader greeting humans in a tone of voice strangely resembling Seinfeld’s “Hello Newman”. There are many, many more, believe you us. US presidency for a wiseguy who finds them all. 😉

Pop culture references galore

Key features
  • A cocktail of hi-powered action taking place in a simulation
  • Cheesy and fun
  • Over-the-top and hilarious
  • Pop culture references galore

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands

Release date:2017-03-07
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Ubisoft Paris

The first Tom Clancy’s game with a fully open world, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands takes place in 2019 Bolivia, where the Mexican drug cartel Santa Blanca has moved their operations, destabilizing whole country in the process.

We are to eliminate 4 Santa Blanca bosses, who reside in four different Bolivian provinces.

The design of the world, its diversity is very well-crafted. Jungle, desert, mountains – Bolivian landscape has it all in TCGRW. Moving on to the thing the series is famous for – tactics – its element is exceptionally pronounced when we go for the co-op mode.

The sensation we get when we are taking someone down from the distance using sniper rifle while our ghost buddy is slitting throat of the other Santa Blanca goon at the same time in order to not alarm the cartel reinforcements – priceless.

Key features
  • Tom Clancy’s got its open world at last
  • Beautiful Bolivian landscapes
  • Splendid gameplay in the co-op mode

Mad Max

Release date:2015-09-01
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Avalanche Studios

There can hardly be any more tech-centric game than Mad Max, although its tech element consists of corrosion, mainly.

Released during the heyday of the latest sequel of the movie franchise – The Fury Road – the product of Avalanche Studios is a prime example of how to design a post-apo open world, full of wrecked car chassis and desolated settlements made of broken lives and rust, well.

The plot is simple: Max has been jumped by War Boys who stole his car and left him to die. He manages to survive and gradually get back on his feet or, rather, wheels thanks to the aid of a hunchbacked mechanic named Chumbucket and a mine-detecting dog.

The gameplay centers on map exploration, completing the “get this, do that” missions, and the upgrading of Max’s vehicle – Magnum Opus. The game emphasizes melee combat over firearms which borrows its mechanics from Batman: Arkham series.

Key features
  • Great post-apo world, full of desolation and despair
  • Simple yet effective plot
  • Upgrading is everything 😉
  • Able to catch the vibe of Mad Max movies

Batman: Arkham Knight

Release date:2015-06-23
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Rocksteady Studios

The third installment and conclusion of the Batman Arkham series from the Rocksteady Studios, Batman is a solid piece of gaming material.

There has been controversy about the PC version of the game, due to performance problems at the time of game’s release, but the console version runs like a scalded dog.

Gotham City is vast and as gloomy as it should be, there is a duo of memorable antagonists: Scarecrow and the titular Arkham Knight. Gimmicky gadgets from previous Batmans are also there: batarangs, grapnel gun, Remote Hacking Device, etc.

On the other hand, the prime example of the new stuff in B:AK is the Batmobile, which serves as an alternative to gliding around. It is also pretty convenient when we need to burst through a roadblock or obliterate some heavy-duty military equipment.

Key features
  • The completion of the Batman Arkham series
  • The duo of finely-written antagonists
  • Tech-centric gadgets as usual…
  • …plus the introduction of the Batmobile

Just Cause 3

Release date:2018-10-24
Genre:Action
Developer:Avalanche Studios

Another title from Avalanche Studios and the one which is most hell-bent on destruction.

Yes, Just Cause 3 thrives on this single element and its whole gameplay revolves around it. You, as a special agent Rico Rodriguez, are to overthrow a dictatorship in your homeland – the island of Medici.

Your modus operandi? Wreck havoc utilizing your signature grapling hook, parachute and wingsuit. Of course, you may always use a combat helicopter armed with rockets and chain guns, but it simply wouldn’t have that ‘just causness’ in it, would it?

What makes the game is the freedom to facilitate destruction – physics is pristinely exaggerated, explosions – absolutely rewarding, and the overall fun – memorable enough to answer the “why do you play this game” question: “just because”. 😉

Key features
  • Urban exploration at its finest – via wingsuit and parachute
  • Have a ball destroying things
  • Destruction physics is a literal wonder
  • Light and fun!

Mafia III

Release date:2020-05-19
Genre:Action
Developer:Hangar 13

Parting from the fedora-donned installments full of Italian lilt and setting itself up in the late 60’s fictionalized version of New Orleans, Mafia III proves that it shouldn’t be overlooked.

The developers form Hangar 13 shifted the momentum of the game from an open world set as a background for a story into integrating it with the narrative. Attention to detail is simply astounding – from car radio reception blundering inside tunnels, to Bayou gators munching bodies dumped into water – and so is the meticulousness with which Hangar 13 recreated the ambiance of southern parts of the US.

Also, the recurrence of a now middle-aged Vito – the protagonist of the second installment – as one of protagonist’s capos, serves as a friendly nudge to all fans of the series.

Key features
  • A changed “dynamics” of the game
  • Splendid detailing
  • Outstanding recreation of the late 60’s Bayou
  • A knowing nod for fans of previous installments

Prototype 2

Release date:2012-07-26
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Radical Entertainment

On the tier lists of destruction maniacs and superhero fans’ wet dreams, Prototype 2 lies in the sweet spot between the two.

The game is THE ULTIMATE chaos maker, employing superpowers and gratuitous brutality.

There is some plot – James Heller, an ex-marine from Iraq, upon returning home finds out his wife and daughter have been dead, so he enlists again to fight the Blacklight virus known from the first installment of the series – but who cares when you may indulge yourself in consuming and quartering your opponents using your shapeshifting arms.

Urban exploration is taken here to another level, for your hulk-like protagonist may go parkouring, jumping really high and far. Or he may resort to ripping out gun turrets from tanks or uppercutting helicopters – whichever you feel like doing better.

Key features
  • Superpowers & super mayhem
  • Chaos, chaos & some more chaos
  • Eating in order to get to know things…
  • Shapeshifting arms causing fountains of blood

GTA V

Release date:2015-04-14
Genre:Adventure
Developer:Rockstar North

A game which doesn’t need any introduction, deved by probably one of the most recognizable studios of the gaming world.

An eponym of epicness, perfection personified.

Three protagonists – a bank robber-turned man of the postmodernly devalued house, a psycho drug dealer/gun runner, and a street gangster – whose walks of lives intertwine in a magnificently gripping plot, leaving lasting impression on a whole generation of gamers, younger as well as older ones. You really don’t need to know more. Just play it, if you still haven’t already.

Key features
  • It’s GTA, baby!
  • Epic open world
  • Legendary protagonists
  • Monumental everything!!!

Cyberpunk 2077

Release date:2023-12-05
Genre:RPG
Developer:CD Projekt Red

One of the most overhyped and anticipated titles in the history of gaming, on a par with Daikatana, although far less unsuccessful than the notorious brainchild of John Romero.

Cyberpunk 2077 is many things – a great vision, huge open world bridled with plot, looter shooter-like abundance of weapons with zillions of coefficients, immersion so deep it challenges the bathyscaphe exploring the Mariana trench, and – bugging the console version, mainly – a shitload of performance problems.

Three years later, patched up and hyped down, C2077 is a guaranteed staple of fun. To say that you should play it sounds as cringy as stating that Warren Beatty played Rick Decard in the original Blade Runner. You HAVE TO play it!

Key features
  • Super immersive
  • Its visual ‘élan vital’ is absolutely astounding
  • One of the best technology-driven worlds in gaming

Here they are – 10 alternatives to Watch Dogs. The tech-driven narratives still make our cheeks flush with excitement and we hope you are going to appreciate their oftentimes intricate and convoluted gameplay just as thoroughly as we certainly did.